Malaysia, seeking for overall glory in the upcoming SEA Games next month, are all set to host the biggest number of athletes who will converge in Kuala Lumpur for the 29th edition of the Games from 19-30 August.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) on Friday (7 July 2017) confirmed that a total of 4,888 athletes have registered to compete in the Kuala Lumpur Games, as compared to some 3,500 athletes in the last KL Games in 2001.
South East Asia Games Federation (SEAGF) president, Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar, who is also the OCM president said, the numbers were determined after the closing date of the Games’ entry by names on 30th June.
“The total number for the KL Games is not the biggest in the history of SEA Games, Philippines played host to the biggest number of 5,339 athletes when it hosted the 2005 Games in Manila. In the last Games in Singapore, a total of 4,370 athletes took part.
For Malaysia, this will be the biggest number of athletes to compete in Kuala Lumpur thus far,” said Tunku Tan Sri Imran in a media conference to announce the list of Malaysian contingent as well as the overall number of athletes for the Games.
Also present were OCM Secretary General Datuk Low Beng Choo, National Sports Council Director General Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail and Malaysian Chef de Mission Datuk Marina Chin.
Competing in all events, Malaysia are fielding a total of 874 athletes, the biggest number of athletes since the 2007 Korat Games (820 athletes).
Thailand, down to compete in all events, undoubtedly will be Malaysia’s biggest threat as they seek to continue their domination in the region’s biggest Games with 858 athletes included in its Kuala Lumpur-bound contingent. The Thais have emerged as overall champions six time since the 1985 Games in Bangkok.
Next year’s Asian Games hosts Indonesia are sending a contingent of 629 athletes, followed by Singapore (582), Philippines (497), Myanmar (457), Vietnam (455), Laos (201), Cambodia (178), Brunei Darussalam (109) and Timor Leste (48) athletes.
In another development, Tunku Tan Sri Imran announced that the women 3,000 metres steeplechase event has been taken out of the Games competition schedule due to insufficient participation.
Participation of Athletes for KL2017 Games:
Thailand : 858
Brunei Darussalam: 109
Timor Leste: 48
Number of Sports: 38
Number of Events: 404